Re: Engine-Out Compensation System

From:         dorfman@netcom.com (Merlin Dorfman)
Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
Date:         21 Dec 95 03:33:13 
References:   1 2
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FMCDave (fmcdave@aol.com) wrote:

: The Boeing airplanes which I am familiar with (and have an autothrottle)
: detect an engine failure and provide thrust compensation.  If the airplane
: has a Flight Management Computer, it will compute the best EPR/N1 targets,
: fuel/time/performance computations.

: I was highly involved with the development of the Autothrottle for the
: 737-300 and was Project Manager for the A/T for the 747-400.  Whilst
: neither of these autothrottles were perfect, I never received an inservice
: report of a nuisance trip of this feature.  This is probably due to the
: control law design which utilizes actual thrust as one of the determining
: factors for tripping the logic.
: Dave

     This would be a "spoiler" on the Tom Clancy newsgroup but not here.
At the end of "Debt of Honor" a fully-fueled 747 is flown into the US
Capitol building.  It was detected in the last few seconds and a shoulder-
fired heat-seeking missile was fired at it.  The missile hit an engine on
the 747.  The book says that the pilot had to make a manual correction to
keep the plane on course with the engine destroyed.
     So the question is: would the autothrottle actually keep the plane
on course without the manual correction?  Or can we assume that a pilot
determined to crash the plane would be flying with the autothrottle
turned off, so the book is correct?
                                       Merlin Dorfman
                                       DORFMAN@NETCOM.COM